Becoming a dental assistant offers one of fastest educational paths to entering rapidly expanding healthcare field.
Dental Assistant Job Description
Dental assistants provide support functions for dentists including assisting with dental procedures, lab work and office functions.
When helping with patientís dental procedures, a dental assistant may be involved with:
Preparing dental instruments Gathering patientís dental records Handing instruments to dentist during patient procedures Keeping patientís mouth dry during procedures Instructing patients on proper oral healthcare Taking and preparing x-rays Applying anesthetics
Lab duties of dental assistants include making casts of teeth, creating temporary crowns and cleaning dental prosthetics.
Office support includes scheduling appointments, receiving patients in office, billing, ordering supplies and keeping patient records.
Most dental assistants work in dentistís offices. A small portion may work in hospitals or doctorís offices. Similar to dental hygienists, up to one third of dental assistants work part-time.
Salary Ranges / Job Outlook for Dental Assistants
Like many healthcare fields, demand for dental assistants is expected to grow faster than average over next decade.
The median hourly pay rate for dental assistants is $13.10 and high and low range of scale is $8.45 at low end and $19.41 at high end.